Moms of Horror and the Lessons They Taught Me

Happy Mothers Day

Mother’s Day is a modern tradition to honor and celebrate motherhood and mothers in society.  It is also a time to reflect on all the awesome lessons we have been taught by our mothers or by other mothers.  My own mother taught me so many things that prepared me for the real world.  She has handed down some amazing recipes that I still use to nourish my body.  I owe my semi-photographic memory to her, as well.  Another thing she passed down to me was Von Willebrand disease.  For those of you unaware, Von Willebrand disease is a hereditary coagulation abnormality.  My blood does not clot like it should and I am prone to bruising and nosebleeds.  Thanks, Mom!

Now that we have covered some things I learned and received from my very own mother, it is time to take a look at what I have learned from the mothers of some of my favorite horror movies!  In the list below, I will talk about Pamela Voorhees (Friday the 13th), Margaret White (Carrie), Debbie Salt/Mrs. Loomis (Scream 2), Norma Bates (Psycho), Joan Crawford (Mommie Dearest), and Mother (Mother’s Day).

1.  Pamela Voorhees (Friday the 13th)
The franchise is most known for its hockey mask wearing, machete wielding killer, Jason (now remember I explained a while back why he was really not evil and just entirely misunderstood).  People often forget that his mother, Pamela Voorhees, is the true first killer in the series.  Even poor Casey from Scream 1 (as portrayed by Drew Barrymore) got that question wrong, resulting in the evisceration of her football stud boyfriend, Steve.  But Mrs. Voorhees is really not all that bad, either.  She was just being an advocate for her son, a mentally disabled boy who drowned at Camp Crystal Lake while some of the counselors that were supposed to be watching him were having sex and getting high.  She later develops a split personality disorder and begins killing all the kids at the camp.  Is she seeking revenge on those she thinks responsible for the death of her son?  Is she trying to prevent the camp from opening again?  We will always wonder her true motives, but one thing is for sure:  we will always be more mindful when taking care of children.  Hell hath no fury like a mother scorned.

A mother's love


2.  Margaret White (Carrie)
Most people remember Margaret White as the abusive, insane, and fanatically religious mother of Carrie White.  She thinks everything is sinful, especially things connected to the female body.  Most people think she goes too far.  I, on the other hand, think there should be more mothers like her today!  Maybe if there were we wouldn’t have shows like “16 and Pregnant” or we wouldn’t be almost idolizing teen pregnancy.  Maybe we wouldn’t have to resort to creating high schools with daycare centers attached.  Girls should quit throwing their cats around or wise up and quit spreading their legs for immature, douchebag boys that can barely grow a mustache.  Also. they have pinky-sized peens… why “stiff” yourself a better time by not waiting a few years?  Through her Biblical teachings, we hear the first sin was intercourse (as she repeats that about a dozen times).  Moral of the story:  we could all use a little more Margaret Whites in our life reminding us when our dirty pillows are showing.

Go to your closet  and pray

3.  Debbie Salt/Mrs. Loomis (Scream 2)
Debbie Salt, played my Laurie Metcalfe, taught me some valuable lessons as well.  She is only seeking justice for the death of her son from the prior film (even if he was a serial killer who went crazy after she abandoned him as a child).  She is after some good, old-fashioned revenge.  Simplicity speaks volumes.  There’s no reason to be so grand and elaborate all the time.  I learned that if you are bad-mouthing people you might not want to do it in front of creepy rape vans.  Poor Randy made that decision and she ripped him inside the van and got a little knife happy.  But above all, this movie may have been one of the first to make me realize I would survive a horror movie.  I would have done exactly what Sidney did and shot that lunatic bitch in the head EVEN after I knew she was dead.  You know, just in case.

Like psychotic mother like psychotic son


4.  Norma Bates (Psycho)
Oh, how I would have loved hanging out with Norma Bates.  All the fun times running around the house in drag, making cookies, and knitting.  We would have had such a gas together!  While Norma is not in the movie herself, she still goes down in history as raising one of the most twisted sons of all time.  I mean, is it a little weird that she named her son the masculine version of her own name, Norman (and he is definitely a sexy bachelor)?  With that decision, she already started a precedent that she and her son would be best friends and have their own Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants relationship together.  “A boy’s best friend is his mother!”  Directly and indirectly, I learned from her the following:  it’s okay for a guy to wear a dress, sons need space, and never ever stay in a hotel that does not have a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse or other luxury restaurant attached (because you gon’ die in the shower if you do)!


5.  Joan Crawford (Mommie Dearest)
While not an actual horror movie, Mommie Dearest did give me nightmares as a growing boy.  Not only does she look like a scary drag queen gone awry, but her violence was equivalent to Ike Turner (and HE gave me “Ikemares” as a child).  Thanks to her I spent a LOT of money purchasing wooden hangers for all of my clothes (and I can’t even count how many shirts I own, so you know I spent a lot of money).  “NO WIRE HANGERS!”


6.  Mother (Mother’s Day)
Mother is a psychotic hillbilly who lives with her two sons deep in the woods. Her equally crazy hillbilly, redneck sons constantly vie for her love and attention by raping and killing, just as she’s asked.  She has a slightly better demeanor and better poise than her two sons; she’s not like some redneck cannibalistic mother you see in other low-budget horror movies.  I think that is what makes her so great in this role.  The things she can manipulate her sons into doing for her are beyond terrifying.  She and Margaret White would have a lot to talk about if they had tea/coffee one morning since she is smothered by an inflatable pillow that is in the shape of a pair of boobs (aka “dirty pillows”).  What did I learn from this movie?  Don’t go camping in the woods.  Unless you have paisley bandanas to wear as you braid pigtails.  But better yet, just don’t go camping!  “Roughing it” is so overrated.  Catch my own fish?  Start my own fire?  PASS.

Behind every good kid is a great mom


7.  Mama (Mama)
Mama is a more recent horror movie, but there is no age limit on the lessons our mothers can teach us.  In this movie, I learned that even the most feral, crazed children need love to.  And never get in the way of a mama bear and her kids.  This demonic spirit will hunt you down and kill your ass if you mess with the abandoned children she bonds with and raises.  “Mama!”


I know there are plenty more moms of horror that I did not highlight (People Under The Stairs, Cujo, Frightmare, The Brood, etc), but I spoke to the ones who taught me the best lessons!  What are some other mothers from horror movies that you can think of and the lessons they taught?

Make sure you tell your mother(s) thank you for all they do for you and all the lessons you learned from them!  HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!


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